March 2023 APSA Seed Insights International Women's Day viewpoints

This month’s APSA Insights features three exclusive interviews:

The first features APSA Director Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey sitting down with the newly appointed chair of APSA’s Standing Committee on International Trade and Quarantine, Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc. In honor of International Women's Day, Dr. Sayoc encourages more women to consider careers in agriculture and take on leadership positions. Dr. Sayoc praises the progress made in the expert consultations and particularly NPPO participation. She stresses the importance of regular meetings between the NPPOs and private sector to ensure food security and nutrition, and encourages the adoption of a Systems Approach to cope with challenges in the movement of seeds and to engage the private sector in preventative measures, expressing pleasure with collaboration between NPPOs and seed associations, while advocating for further capacity building and lab accreditation for seed health testing.

Next, APSA Technical Advisor Dr. Shivendra Bajaj sits down with Dr. Rose Souza Richards, the Seed Health Manager at the International Seed Federation. Dr. Rose highlights how women play a crucial role in agriculture and shares her own experience as an agronomic engineer and plant pathologist, emphasizing the need to overcome challenges and not be fazed by patriarchal societal norms. She also discusses the importance of the Asia-Pacific region in the international movement of seeds and the need for more cooperation and collaboration with national seed associations and private sectors to address challenges. Dr. Richards discusses the many opportunities she sees for NPPOs to collaborate with the private seed sector, and calls for countries that have advanced to act as mentors to those who haven't.

In the third interview, APSA Event Manager interviews GM of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association Thomas Chin about preparations and plans for the 2023 Asian Seed Congress, which is planned to be held in Christchurch, New Zealand this coming November. Broadcast from Christchurch following a recent site inspection, the interview covers various aspects of cooperation and expectation to make this year’s annual seed meeting on par with, if not exceeding all expectations as the region’s primary forum and exhibition for seed enterprise trade and dialogue.